Thursday, August 19, 2010


So here I am, in Ås, Norway. This is a village of 18 thousand people, 25 minutes by train from Oslo and 9km from the ocean. What is actually here? Not much! Initially I was disappointed at the lack of a proper downtown (the village grew around the university, which has lot's of agricultural fields... so now there are wheat fields in the middle of the town) and by how spread out it is. Then I discovered the tons of hiking trails that transform into ski trails in the winter. It is amazing how far and wide you can go even on a bike! There are even old Viking trails close by.

This leads me to the next point: I need a bike! Main form of transport here, a bike is almost a must-have. It is quite frustrating to go around on foot when everyone flies by you on their bikes. Used bikes are quite hard to come by, and new bikes are quite expensive... Even thought of shipping my bike over from the USA, but the cost of that makes it even less interesting (US$500!!). Still trying to figure it out...

And the weather here has not been as nice as I was hoping for... Around 20oC during the day and 15oC at night. Not too bad... but if this is the warmest month I'm bracing for the worst. And then there is rain every other day, which does not help much. I'm wondering why I brought all those sleeveless shirts...

Finding an apartment has also been a difficult task. It seems that many cities (and even villages) in Norway suffer from lack of housing for new students arriving each year and adding to that a small supply of housing... First of all, everything is expensive in Norway, and here in Ås a 20m2 studio costs about US$1000 to rent. So there is only so much above this level that I am willing to pay. A week into my stay here I am already considering neighboring villages... after all a 30 min bus ride should not be too bad. :D

Finally, people are very nice here. Even the guy in his 50 who spoken broken English and who I asked for help in finding flour (normal wheat flour) at the supermarket. He ended up giving me a package saying I think this is it, but even if it's not, at least it is organic". :P It ended up being wheat flour!!

And you? Any difficulties in moving around? Let's hear some stories!


  1. Man, I could not handle the cold and darkness of Norway in the winter. How much light are you getting now? How long will you be with this university?

  2. Hi Gori,
    It is not that bad. It gets light around 8am and dark around 6pm. But we're still in October, let's see how Jan will be!
    My position here is for 2 years with possible extension. Let's see how long I last!